Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Round Food

I don't cook much anymore. I let Tim take over the cooking a few years ago because he wanted to and was so good at it. I went from cooking every day to cooking only on weekdays to almost never.

I never minded cooking, really, but got bogged down in the planning and shopping phases. I worried about budgeting and calories, things which Tim never seemed to mind. He plunged into cooking like an artist, a composer, a CHEF.

Chefs view food differently that the rest of us mere mortals. To them, meals are the palette and food is the paint. The finely sharpened knife and the saute pan are the brushes that they use to create beautiful textures and tastes, the instruments to perform a symphony of sights and smells, temptations of the eye and the imagination.

These days it comes down to pragmatism. Time and Diet. Three nights a week we are in the studio and many other nights we are involved in festivals on Main Street or other outside activities. So we eat to live, not the other way around. I "do" breakfast and lunch most days. Tim "does" dinner (notice the sense of duty in the imperatives "do/does.") For expedience, he usually broils a chicken breast or fish fillet and pairs it with a steamed vegetable. When called upon to prepare dinner (once in a blue moon,) I only cook "round" things: soup, chili, cornbread, pancakes, pizza or eggs. Well, eggs technically are not round but are when fried in a skillet or scrambled. Some nights we come home from the studio and have a bowl of cereal.

How the times have changed. I remember when we would eat a full meal no matter how late when we got home. We entertained in our home and cooked lavish meals for friends and family. Food was an enormous part of our life. I'd like to think that we have something that is more satisfying, now, than cooking. Life in the arts is rich and stimulating. We use up our creative energy in the studio and have not much left for the kitchen.

Maybe that's a cop-out, I don't know, but tonight I made the best chili and cornbread...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Creative Energy

I've been on hiatus. I decided to express my feelings of frustration and anger and even rage by painting them rather than writing in this journal. Perhaps it's because these emotions were unspeakably dark and I was afraid. Or maybe I just didn't want to dilute the passion by pouring it into too many vessels. I chose to paint.

I'm constrained after all, by the fact that my family and friends read this. Of course, I could write in secret, lock it with a key, "Dear Diary", and all that. However, constraints are not necessarily bad. They provide a framework, a metered verse, a haiku, into which I must form an economy of ideas and words.

But more than this, I needed to push away from the safety of the shoreline in my painting. Looking over the progression of my work this year I see growth, change and some success. But mostly I detect a change in direction from the painting of safe, pretty pictures to bolder statements of vulnerability and exposure. For that I needed to mine raw emotional materials that had not been codifed and cauterized through writing.

Of course, I am aware that I've just written about not writing and... I'm still writing... and I hope this hasn't siphoned off the energy needed for my next painting.